Allen the '08 Pick of Conservatives
According to a poll taken at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, conservatives selected Virginia Senator George Allen as the most likely Republican nominee of President in 2008. Allen grabbed 22% of the vote while Arizona Senator John McCain came in 2nd with 20%. The only other names in double figures were Rudy Giuliani with 12% and Condoleezza Rice with 10%.
It is important to note that the poll asked who respondents thought would get the nomination, not who they themselves would choose. The phrasing of the question could affect the results in several ways. First, it weighs heavily in favor of whomever is getting the most current publicity. McCain's high name ID helps there. For Allen, proximity to the event, along with the recent VA Governor's race, may put him at the forefront of many minds at this point. In addition, the question could depress votes for candidates that people think won't get into the race, such as Giuliani and Rice. Finally, given McCain's rocky relationship with conservatives, it's hard to believe that he would get 20% if the CPAC attendees were asked who they would support for the nomination.
The other factor that must be considered in analyzing the results is the fact that 81% of respondents were between the ages of 18-25 which is obviously a drastically different demographic from those who will actually be choosing the nominee. Even so, it is good to see a youth movement behind Senator Allen to supplement the accolades he has received from higher-profile conservative stalwarts.